This Cajun Dirty Rice has been a staple in our house for over a decade, and I am finally sharing it with you because it’s a delicious and easy one pan meal!
In my quest to deliver the tastiest food to you I am absolutely determined to get the dishes out that have been tested and approved by my family.
Dishes that are equally loved by children and adults. Dishes that are quick, easy and inexpensive and preferably a one pot meal.
That’s one tall order but Cajun Dirty Rice is exactly that! My kids dance for joy when I say it’s for dinner. And, unsurprisingly, so does my husband? It’s been our staple for more than a decade and we are yet to get tired of it.
What exactly is Dirty Rice?
The origin of this dish is from the south of the United States, probably Louisiana, where it’s still very popular. It takes its name from its appearance as you can see.
It used to be cooked with gizzards and livers which made rice look dark or “dirty”. If you have boys in your family the name will be a BIG seller! My boy loves it!
You will also be happy to learn that no organ meat was used in this version.
How do you make Dirty Rice?
What gives the dirty rice its distinctive flavour is the combination of spices that comes from the Cajun cuisine. You can make your own, as listed in the recipe, or buy a pre-made mix. See recommendations below.
I also use ground pork instead of the traditional gizzards for the obvious reasons. I prefer pork to beef as I find the texture much nicer as well as more flavourful.
What rice should I use for the dirty rice recipe?
The most traditional rice would be the long grain rice but as you can see from my photos, I used basmati as it’s the rice I prefer and buy in bulk.
You can also use jasmine rice or brown rice to add to this delicious Creole inspired dish more fibre.
Note: Instead of adding all spices listed I often use a premixed spice. My two favourite ones are Louisiana Hot and Spicy by Victorian Epicure and Cajun Spice by Aromatica Organic Spices.
Depending on where you live you can find any Cajun type spice mix from your local grocery store or use what I listed above.
If you love a quick one pan meal type of recipes, please check out some of my favourites!
- Spanish Chicken and Rice with Shrimp
- Filipino Noodles with Pork and Shrimp Pancit Canton
- Indonesian Chicken and Rice with Green Beans
- Baked Chicken Thighs and Potatoes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1lbs ground pork
- 1 onion, medium chopped
- 2 ribs celery diced
- 1 bell pepper, (red or green) diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried garlic flakes
- 1 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 300g/1 1/2 cups rice any kind, not quick cooking
- 750ml/3 cups chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1lbs shrimp
- 2 green onions sliced
- In a large pan heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil and cook your pork over medium heat until no longer pink. Then push the meat to the side of the pan, add remaining tablespoon of oil and add chopped onion, celery, a bell pepper and garlic, cook for 5 minutes, stir in all the spices mentioned, salt and pepper and rice and fry while stirring for 2 minutes.
- Add your stock and a bay leaf, bring to a boil, then cover with a lid and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. (Stir the rice half way through the cooking time.)
- Take the lid off and if the rice is too dry or burned to the bottom a bit add a splash of water (1/4 cup) and stir in your shrimp, cover with a lid and let it cook for 2 more minutes until shrimp turns pink. Taste if the rice is fully cooked. (If not, let it stand covered for 5 minutes, off the heat). Gently stir in sliced green onions.
*This recipe was adapted from “Quick from scratch one dish meals cookbook” by Food and Wine
The recipe first appeared on vikalinka.com on 10/2013, updated 11/2018/